European Parliament's "Friends of Serbia" visit Belgrade
Serbian citizens must be made more familiar with the advantages of EU integration, says the Serbian minister without portfolio, in charge of EU integration.Source: Tanjug
Jadranka Joksimovic made the comments on Friday during a meeting in Belgrade with a delegation of the Friends of Serbia informal group of European Parliament (EP) members.
The two sides agreed that the opening of new chapters in the EU accession talks would mark the start of a significant stage in implementation of adopted standards, as well as further work on reforms, which they said were substantial for progress in European integration.
Making European integration an important part of the internal development policy in the country was a significant step by the Serbian government, the MEPs said, while Joksimovic noted that the government was ready for all forms of dialogue as it was good for the country.
The communications strategy for European integration must be developed further as the government has demonstrated that the process must be transparent and that the citizens must be familiar with all its segments and advantages, she said.
Also discussed were the steps to be taken after the opening of chapters 23 and 24 in Serbia's accession talks and in the reform process.
Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic also met with the MEPs, noting the significance of good relations with the EP and support for the group's activities.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with their cooperation to date and agreed that it should be continued in the future, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Established in May 2015, the Friends of Serbia group brings together MEPs who support Serbia's European integration and organize activities promoting Serbia in the EP, the statement notes
The MEPs were also received on Friday by Serbian National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic, who welcomed the upcoming opening of negotiation chapters 23 and 24 in Serbia's EU accession talks, noting that continuing the European integration and reforms was significant.
Gojkovic told the MEPs that the EU's decision to open the chapters was good news for Serbia, said a statement from her office.
Serbia will continue its reforms in order to achieve European standards for its citizens, and the EU and its member states will decide when it will join the Union, Gojkovic said.
Emilian Pavel, who heads the group, expressed satisfaction with the overwhelming support for European integration in the Serbian parliament, adding that he expected it to continue to pass reform laws.
The Friends of Serbia delegation also includes Franc Bogovic, Eduard Kukan, Tanja Fajon, Andor Deli and Paul Tang.